Lectures & Speaking Topics

A Wild Life
Strayed will discuss the jagged journey she wrote about in her memoir Wild, telling the sometimes harrowing, other times hilarious stories behind the story of the hike itself and also the years that came before her solo wilderness trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Sweet Life: Stories from "Dear Sugar"
Since March 2010, Cheryl Strayed has written the popular (and unorthodox) online advice column, "Dear Sugar," on TheRumpus.net. In this talk, Cheryl will share stories about what she's learned in the course of encouraging readers to live large, love hard and be brave enough to break their own hearts.
The Art of Revelation
Stories aren't just about the interesting experiences we or our characters have had; they're about the meaning one has made of them. Often, this meaning is conveyed through revelation—the moment when the author in nonfiction or character in fiction understands a truth that was previously unknown to him or her. Strayed will discuss the art of writing complex and deep revelations by drawing on examples from her own work and the work of other writers.
Writing from the Urgent Place
In this lecture Strayed will discuss the importance of fearlessly trusting the impulse to write the stories one most urgently wants to tell, whether they be fiction or nonfiction. The focus will be on the less definable elements of successful prose writing, such as the role of intuition, emotional risk-taking, and the inter-weaving of seemingly unrelated elements to tell stories that matter.
From the Mundane to the Meaningful: Making the Leap from Life to Art
The best nonfiction writers tell personal stories that transcend individual experience and reach beyond the confessional. In this lecture, Strayed will discuss what she's learned in the process of excavating and articulating the universal meaning of her own life on the page.
Hunching in a Remotely Upright Position
In her memoir Wild, Strayed writes about carrying a tremendous weight over many miles of rugged terrain while she also struggled to overcome the profound metaphorical load she was carrying in the form of her emotional suffering. In this talk, Strayed will discuss what she learned about how we bear the unbearable, how we move from grief and anger to acceptance, and how we keep walking even when it seems impossible to stand.